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Subaru's latest SUV is billed as the smartest, safest and most efficient Forester to date and it's just gone on sale in South Africa, sporting a range of five variants:


2.0 X - R329 000

2.5 X CVT - R359 000

2.5 XS CVT - R389 000

2.5 XS Premium CVT - R429 000

2.0 XT CVT - R529 000


The new Forester offers a choice between three latest-generation Boxer engines featuring an idle-stop system for better figures in town.

The base 2.0 X is powered by a normally aspirated 2-litre motor that's good for 110kW at 6200rpm and 198Nm at 4200rpm. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, Subaru claims a 10.6-second 0-100km/h sprint at the coast, 190km/h top speed and average consumption of 7.2 litres per 100km.

A rung up the ladder is a normally aspirated 2.5-litre engine with 126kW at 5800rpm, 235Nm at 4100rpm, 9.9-second sprint time and 8.1 l/100km consumption. This engine is mated to a Lineartronic CVT seamless transmission which has stepped gear-change points that can be activated via flappy paddles.

The beast of the range, the 2.0 XT, is powered by a new direct-inject turbopetrol engine credited with 177kW at 5600rpm and 350Nm from 2400rpm. This one, says Subaru, will crackle from 0-100 in 7.5 seconds and reach 210km/h. Its snail's-pace fuel consumption figure is pegged at 8.5 l/100km. Strangely, this engine is also paired with the CVT 'box.

Aesthetically the XT marks its territory with 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels and a sports front bumper with chrome accents.


Specification is rather decent across the board, with even the base model packing Subaru's new Multi-Function Display, complete with a reverse camera and multi-function steering wheel. XS trim brings paddle-shift gear-changing functionality, along with alloy wheels, electric driver's seat and HID headlights. Above that, XS Premium brings leather seats, automatic lights and wipers, double-volume sunroof, keyless start and a one-touch electrically-operated tailgate.


Like its predecessor, the Forester aims to strike a balance between good on-road manners and off-road ability. It features a 220mm ground clearance, the latest iteration of Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive system and independent suspension at all corners.

Our launch correspondent Denis Droppa is attending the local launch so be sure to read his impressions in the motoring supplement appearing in The Star, Pretoria News, Mercury and Cape Times this Thursday.